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April Trade Surplus Confirmed

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): April 2001

The updated overseas trade surplus for April 2001 is $365 million, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. This is 13 per cent of the value of exports for the month. Surpluses have occurred in nine of the previous 10 April months, but this is the first April month since 1994 that the surplus has exceeded 10 percent of exports.

The trend in the trade balance is flat, with some growth in both exports and imports. This growth coincides with the recent depreciation in the value of the New Zealand dollar, as measured by the Trade Weighted Index.

The value of merchandise exports for April 2001 has been updated to $2,834 million. This compares with the early estimate of $2,860 million released on 25 May 2001. The value of merchandise imports for April 2001 was $2,469 million.

The updated value of merchandise exports for the year ended April 2001 is $30,899 million, up 24.3 per cent from the previous April year. Our top three export markets, Japan, Australia and the United States of America, contributed 41 per cent of the annual growth.

The commodities contributing the most to annual growth in exports were milk powder, butter and cheese; meat and edible offal; and casein and caseinates. The combined annual increase from these commodities was $2,568 million, which accounted for 43 per cent of the total annual increase in exports.

The updated merchandise trade balance for the year ended April 2001 is a deficit of $664 million. This compares with a deficit for the previous April year of $3,427 million (which included $631 million for the frigate HMNZS Te Mana).

Overseas merchandise trade statistics are provisional for three months to allow for the inclusion of new and amended information.

Ian Ewing DEPUTY GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

Ends

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